Category: Match Report


A much changed team saw defeat in the Kent Senior Cup.

Any dreams of a cup run in the Kent Senior Cup was ended on Tuesday night with a 2-0 defeat away to Chatham Town. Although a defeat is normally hard to swallow, blooding youngsters for the fixture can be seen as a real positive for the club. The Academy had provided nine players to feature in the match as well as a further three that had previously graduated which shows that there is a clear pathway towards the first team. It’s a great experience for those lads in getting game time and one that is crucial to their development moving forward and ideal for the new manager to cast on eye who who could make an impact in his squad.

A goal at the end of each half was enough to undo all the hard work by Dover but it wasn’t to be on a cold night in Medway. Mitch Brundle can now solely focus on the bread and butter of the league with a tough home fixture against Havant & Waterlooville to come this Saturday.

‘I thought the game was a bit scrappy and we wasn’t tidy enough in possession for what we are asking for,’ said the manager after the match. ‘We finished the game with eight academy players on the pitch at the final whistle which is fantastic. We used the game how we wanted which was to get minutes in peoples legs and also gave us a chance to look at the kids. That is no disrespect to Chatham Town or even the tournament itself but we have to have proper games where the final result actually means something and it will benefit the youngsters for their development towards the first team.’

A valiant effort by the young lads.

Harry Earls, Harrison Byford, Jayden Wilson, Freddie Oliver, Will Sanders, Shae Hutchinon, George Wilkinson, Kieron Agbebi, Cameron Thompson, Luke Nandi, Joel Michael ofeniran;

SUBS: Matty Holness, Bleu Landau, Daniel Lott, Cameron Chamberlain, Archi Hatcher


Leo Dodds scored a sensational hat-trick as the Academy advanced to the next round of the FA Youth Cup in style after beating their Ebbsfleet United counterparts 5-1 at Crabble on Wednesday.

The visitors opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half of the Second Qualifying Round tie before the young Whites responded with two goals before half-time from Kieron Agbebi and  Archie Hatcher.

Dodds stole the show in the second half with his treble to ensure his team was in the hat for Friday’s draw for the next round.

After the game, Academy manager Mike Sandmann said: “I am really proud of the boys tonight – they produced a fantastic reaction after conceding early.

“Despite being disappointed with our first-half performance, I thought we were excellent after the break and scored some really great goals.

“We didn’t give them any opportunities in the second half and created plenty of chances ourselves through passion, commitment, and desire to win the ball.

“We have a really good group of young players, but I know there is still plenty to come from them.”

Sandmann also took time to praise the fans who came along to watch.

“We really did appreciate it – the boys love having a crowd backing them and they responded to it, so thank you from us all.”



Second-half goals from Jordan Higgs and Luke Wanadio secured Dover a first away win of the National League South season at bottom side Weymouth at the Bob Lucas Stadium on Saturday.

The win also ended a run of four successive losses in all competitions and saw manager Andy Hessenthaler’s side move up to 16th ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Welling United.

A delighted Hessenthaler said: “I thought it was an excellent performance given the circumstances ahead of the game.

“Weymouth had a new manager in place and we knew that was always going to make it a lot harder for us – we were also coming into the game on the back of a mini-run of poor form.

“We needed to bounce back from our performances of late and we did.

“We were solid, we kept a clean sheet, and we got three points away from home – we can’t ask for any more from the players.

“Now we have to build on that performance and ensure we keep working hard together when we go to Welling.”

Finally, Hessenthaler praised the Dover faithful who had made the long trip to the Dorset coast to support his team.

“We owed them a performance and I’m glad that we gave them one.

“We really do appreciate the backing the fans give us at home and away and the commitment they make week in and week out to support us.”

Defender Jake Goodman is due to see a specialist on Monday after receiving an elbow to his nose late in the first half which led to him being substituted.

Weymouth: Sandford, Howe, Boutin (Kyprianou 72), Carlyle, Matsuzaka, McBurnie (Murray 46), Bearwish, Blair, O’Connell, Rose (Ofosu 46), Ash. Subs not used: Nippard, Gifford.

Dover: Nelson, Judd, Paxman, Goodman (Krasniqi 45+2), Brundle, Higgs, Pavey, Wanadio (Baptiste 85), Martin, Sterling, Grant (Kandi 72). Subs not used: Wilkinson, Carney.

Referee: Ruebyn Ricardo

Attendance: 828



Player/coach Mitch Brundle spoke to BBC Radio Kent’s Matt Gerrard after the 4-0 win at Crabble on Saturday.

Jake Goodman and Jordan Higgs put Whites 2-0 up at half-time before goals from teenagers Noah Carney and Luke Baptiste completed the scoring as Andy Hessenthaler’s side ended a two-match losing run.

It was Carney’s second consecutive goal after coming off the bench last weekend too, while Baptiste’s spectacular effort was the first of his senior career.

Alfie Pavey also had his penalty saved in the first half.

Defender Goodman marked his first league start at Crabble this season by putting his side ahead with a stunning overhead kick in the 16th minute before Higgs fired home six minutes later.

Carney, who had only been on the pitch for two minutes, made it 3-0 five minutes from time before Baptiste finished the game in style after a fine run and finish just before the final whistle.

Dover: Sandford, Judd, Paxman, Goodman, Brundle, Higgs, Martin (Carney 83mins), Wanadio, Baptiste, Pavey (Grant 89mins), Kandi (Krasniqi 74mins). Subs not used: Nelson, Moses.



Whites suffered a second straight National League South defeat and a second defeat of the season as The Hawks maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign.

Muhammadu Faal turned home from close range to give his side the lead in the 16th minute before Alfie Pavey equalised against one of his former clubs nine minutes later.

Faal restored the lead from the penalty spot after Jake Goodman’s handball eight minutes before half-time.

Millwall loanee Ryan Sandford denied Faal from completing a hat-trick four minutes after the break when he saved his penalty.

However, just two minutes later, the hosts increased their lead when Jake McCarthy curled home past an unsighted Sandford.

James Roberts headed home to make it 4-1 in the 74th minute before second-half substitute, 18-year-old forward Noah Carney, reduced the deficit with his first senior goal five minutes from time.

The defeat sees Dover drop to 17th on the table ahead of Saturday’s game against Hemel Hempstead Town at Crabble.


By Alex Hoad

Dover’s eight-year stay in the National League came to an end at Crabble on Saturday after the defeat against the Somerset visitors.

With 11 games remaining and 12 points deducted by the National League on the eve of the season, Whites can no longer overhaul Aldershot in 20th, despite Shots losing at home to Kings Lynn on Saturday.

Manager Andy Hessenthaler named an unchanged XI from the narrow defeat at Halifax but replaced the unwell Henry Woods on the bench with 16-year-old Academy prospect Kieron Agbebi.

The game kicked-off following an emotional minute’s silence in memory of beloved Dover fan and club photographer Simon Harris who passed away on Friday at the age of just 66.

Dover had taken just one point from the seven-game since the memorable win over Eastleigh but the visitors arrived at Crabble in less-than-stellar form themselves, having taken only three points from their previous seven games and won one in 16 in all competitions.

Town did however start brightly and goalkeeper Adam Parkes had to drop to his left to hold a low drive from 20 yards from Tom Knowles early on.

At the other end on-loan West Brom keeper Ted Cann, making his second debut for the Glovers after a previous loan spell, made a meal of saving Alfie Pavey’s speculative 25-yard shot on 15 minutes while Dover won several free-kicks in good positions but were unable to test the keeper after curling left-footed deliveries from Arjanit Krasniqi.

The deadlock was broken in the 19th minute when Jordan Barnett’s lofted free-kick was flicked on by Adi Yussuf and bounced through the Dover defence to Ben Barclay, who guided an expert half-volley into the top corner giving Parkes no chance.

It was one-way traffic for a spell and Knowles flashed a low cross across the face of goal with Charlie Wakefield unable to turn in at the back post.

Hessenthaler shuffled his pack at the interval and brought on Koby Arthur, with Michael Gyasi joining Alfie Pavey up top,

Myles Judd reverting to right wing-back and Will Moses joining George Wilkinson in holding midfield with three at the back.

The hosts enjoyed a blistering start to the half and Gyasi fired over while a scrambling Cann had to tip over a curling Wilkinson cross.

The clinching goal arrived against the run of play 10 minutes after the break when Knowles broke from midfield and was controversially adjudged to have been fouled by Jake Goodman on the edge of the box.

Dale Gorman stepped up to fire a curling right-footed free-kick around the wall which beat Parkes into the top-corner. It was the first time the Glovers had scored more than once in a game since November.

The lively Gyasi swung a free-kick past the post at the other end and sub Agbebi – the latest debutant from our Academy – caused Town’s defence some problems, but the game was up when Cann missed the ball allowing Gyasi to roll the ball into the empty net, only for the goal to be ruled out for an offside with protests from Gyasi and Pavey falling on deaf ears.

Danny Collinge looped a header from an Arthur corner well over the bar and Gyasi saw appeals for a penalty waved away in the closing stages while at the other end a block from Krasniqi thwarted Knowles from close range and Parkes dived to his left to deny Barnett before sub Olofela Olomola dragged a shot past the upright in stoppage time.

After the game chairman Jim Parmenter confirmed Hessenthaler will return next season to spearhead Dover’s challenge in National League South.


By Alex Hoad

Battling Dover were eventually seen-off by two late goals from play-off chasing Torquay United at Crabble on Saturday.

Whites fell behind after just 90 seconds when Gulls skipper Asa Hall unleashed a superb volley from the edge of the box but Jake Goodman equalised before the half-hour and after Dover had spurned some decent chances, in the end, it needed two goals in the final 12 minutes to seal the points and take the Devon side within six points of the promotion places.

Andy Hessenthaler made a single change with George Wilkinson coming in for Myles Judd, who was serving the first of his three-game ban for his red card at Stockport last weekend, with Arjanit Krasniqi reverting to left-back and Danny Collinge playing full-back on the opposite side.

After missing two months with a back injury, TJ Bramble made a long-awaited return to the squad, named on the bench in place of Khale Da Costa, who left the club earlier this week.

The visitors made the perfect start as Hall – who netted the 8th-minute winner as Torquay beat Wrexham 1-0 last Saturday – latched onto a headed clearance, chested the ball down, and unleashed a swerving 20-yard volley which flew past Adam Parkes and into the roof of the net.

Boosted by the bright start, the Gulls took control and Dan Holman, Ben Wynter, Armani Little, and Stephen Wearne all tried their luck as Dover struggled to get into the game.

United keeper Shaun MacDonald had only touched the ball with his hands once by the time Dover drew level against the run of play.

A deep corner from the right by Krasniqi was met by Alfie Pavey at the far post and after rolling across the face of goal Goodman was on hand to ram home from a couple of yards out.

The goal settled Athletic down and Dover grew into the game, though the lively Michael Gyasi was unable to thread the ball through for Henry Woods on the edge of the box.

At the other end, Parkes did well to deny Wearne with a point-blank save at his near post while Hall fired the follow-up well over – a chance far easier than that from which he had broken the deadlock.

Goodman headed a deep Koby Arthur free-kick off-target before the break while Dover changed their shape at the interval and continued to enjoy good spells of possession.

Gyasi continued to be a thorn in the Gulls’ side and saw an effort collected by MacDonald, who also held a Goodman header from a huge throw from captain Ryan Hanson and saw Pavey skew wide from an Arthur cross.

Wynter fizzed a shot past Parkes’ post at the other end as the visitors began to increase their urgency just before the hour.

Duke-McKenna and Danny Wright came on as Torquay chased the game and Wright sent a header wide and Lewis had another effort deflected past the post while on 73 minutes Gyasi miscued his shot when clean through after latching on to an almighty clearance from Parkes which had sailed over Lewis’ head.

It proved a pivotal moment as Torquay scored the game’s crucial third goal just five minutes later. Lewis lost his marker Pavey and met Little’s deep corner with a powerful header that flashed past Parkes and into the net.

Dover piled on the pressure late-on, with Bramble firing off target from the edge of the area, Goodman directing a Ransom cross the wrong side of the post, and Pavey nodding wide from a corner, however, they were stung on the counter-attack deep into stoppage time as Little freed Duke-McKenna down the left and he drove forward before firing a low shot past Parkes and into the far corner.

Whites remain 32 points from safety, though wins for Altrincham and Wealdstone hauled them away from the drop-zone and Dover have played more games than any team in the bottom-five.

Notts County are the visitors to Crabble on Tuesday (7.45pm).


By Alex Hoad

A solitary second-half strike proved the difference as Southend edged a narrow win at Crabble in Vanarama National League on Saturday.

Buoyed by their first win of the season, and first in 364 days, against Eastleigh on Tuesday night, Whites caused Southend problems all afternoon and felt they deserved at least a point from a pretty uninspiring encounter in front of a bumper crowd of more than 2,600.

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler made three changes with Sam Wood returning at the back in place of Seth Twumasi while there were full debuts for former Braintree midfielder Arjanit Krasniqi, who signed on Friday night, and on loan Kings Lynn forward Michael Gyasi, who had made an impact off the bench against Eastleigh.

Southend boss Kevin Maher brought Jason Demetriou back in as captain with Norwich loanee Matt Dennis returning upfront after missing their midweek draw at Aldershot.

Southend forward Harry Cardwell saw appeals for a penalty dismissed inside three minutes as keeper Adam Parkes raced out to gather a back-header from Jake Goodman.

Chances were at a premium in the opening stages but around 20 minutes in Harry Ransom rose highest to head a curling Koby Arthur corner goalwards, only for his effort to be blocked on the line, while Gyasi skewed an effort wide of Steve Arnold’s post after a poor clearance from the former Whites stopper.

New arrival from Dartford, Noor Husin saw a volley from a half-cleared Tom Clifford corner blocked by Parkes at the other end while on the stroke of half-time Matt Dennis got his angles wrong and nodded a header from a Will Atkinson cross past the post with Parkes stranded.

Michael Gyasi caused the Blues plenty of problems after the break, using quick feet and direct running to good effect, though he blazed well over the bar from the centre of goal after one of his mazy runs ended with the ball bobbling at the crucial time.

The deadlock was eventually broken 17 minutes from time from Southend’s first real chance of the half, Sam Dalby saw a header from a corner blocked on the line but the ball broke towards the edge of the area where Husin leapt two-footed into the air before using expert technique to guide the ball into the top corner with his left-foot, though Parkes was claiming he was impeded.

Dover almost found a response within three minutes as more good work down the left from Gyasi led to Arthur darting across the area before hooking a low shot past the flat-footed Arnold, only to see the ball thud the inside of the post and roll along the line before being cleared.

Dover threw everything at Southend in the closing stages, winning a string of set-pieces, but were unable to call Arnold into action, and it was Dalby who came closest to adding a second goal in stoppage-time, with Ryan Hanson needed to clear the ball off the line after the striker forced the ball past Parkes on the break.

Victory took United 13 points clear of the relegation zone, to the delight of Southend’s travelling army of more than 1,900 fans at the Town End, while Dover remain on -5 points and 30 points from safety, with just 18 games remaining.

Hessenthaler said: “It’s the crazy world of football – we probably played better today than we did on Tuesday when we won. There wasn’t much in the game first half but second half we had a few chances. They never looked like scoring but one lapse of concentration and we got punished.

“If the shot that hit the post went in I think it would have been a fair reflection of the game, a point each. We deserved something.”


By Alex Hoad

After 364 days without a win, Alfie Pavey’s goal earned Dover Athletic a 1-0 win over Eastleigh on a night which will go down in Crabble folklore.

Whites’ first victory of the National League campaign came at the 25th attempt and ended a run of eight straight defeats and a streak of 16 losses in the past 17 league games.

The last time Dover had tasted victory in any competition was a 3-1 success against Barnet at a soggy Crabble on January 26, 2021.

Dover’s withdrawal from the 2020/21 campaign meant the result was expunged by the league so the club’s last official win came against AFC Fylde 703 days ago, on February 22, 2020.

Hosting his former club – who had beaten Dover 4-1 in Hampshire in September – Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler made two changes from the side which had lost 5-0 at Solihull Moors on Saturday with Jake Goodman returning at the back in the place of Sam Wood while Khale Da Costa replaced Ben Williamson, who was not named in the 16.

The captain’s armband was taken by hometown lad Ryan Hanson, who turned 21 last month.

The first-half was a scrappy affair, despite a bright start from Dover who saw Seth Twumasi fizz a low cross across the six yard box untouched, in the opening moments.

Eastleigh grew into the game and won a string of set-pieces, one of which on 13 minutes was only half-cleared to Ryan Hill who whipped a left-footed shot off the crossbar from the right of the penalty area.

Another in-swinging corner from the left was glanced goalward by Spitfires forward Dan Smith, only for Whites keeper Adam Parkes to fling himself low to his left and pull off an instinctive save before the ball was hacked clear.

Goodman and Harry Ransom dealt with the visitors’ aerial threat well for almost the entire game but eight minutes before the break the dangerous Tyrone Barnett peeled off to the back post to nod a deep cross back into the centre where Smith could only hook an acrobatic volley past Parkes’ upright.

At the other end Dover enjoyed a rare spell of possession which led to 17-year-old George Wilkinson battling to win possession on the edge of the penalty area and work himself some space before swinging in a swerving shot which Eastleigh keeper Joe McDonnell had to turn around the post.

Tom Whelan lashed a 20-yard effort over the River End in first-half stoppage-time and the visitors had the better of the start of the second period too, with Parkes holding a close-range Smith header at the far post on 49 minutes, shortly after a speculative effort off target from Andrew Boyce.

Parkes got his body behind a swerving drive on 52 minutes before a rare foray forward from Whites as Da Costa drove forward before sending in a low shot from the edge of the box which was held by McDonnell.

The visitors struck the woodwork for the second time on 57 minutes as a deep corner was nodded tamely down and into the post before being gathered by the grateful Parkes.

The turning point came just before the hour and owed much to the tenacity of Koby Arthur.

Firstly Arthur dispossessed a defender before sliding the ball clean through for Pavey who saw a low shot blocked by the legs of McDonnell.

With Pavey’s head still in his hands Arthur raced out to the right flank and again hassled a defender into a mistake before squaring the ball low for Pavey to make amends, clipping home at the near post to send the home fans into rapture.

Pavey’s fourth goal of the campaign gave Dover their first lead of the season at Crabble and ended his side’s run of 5 hours and 56 minutes without a home goal.

New arrival on loan from King’s Lynn, Micheal Gyasi, was introduced off the bench to replace Wilkinson and made an immediate impression, firing one angled shot past the post after a lung-busting and Beckenbauer-esque run forward from Ransom and seeing another rasping effort tipped over the bar by McDonnell.

Smith got in the way of a thunderous shot from his own teammate Jake Hesketh at the other end while Wood, who came on for Twumasi, needed to time a challenge in the area to perfection to avoid conceding a penalty on 83 minutes.

The visitors dominated possession and poured forward in the six added minutes at the end of the 90, with keeper McDonnell even racing up to join the attack for a corner, however Dover defended resiliently while the fans cheered every stray pass and wayward shot from the Spitfires until the final whistle sparked joyous celebrations on and off the pitch.

Dover are back in action at Crabble when Southend visit on Saturday (3pm).


By Alex Hoad

Whites produced another battling display but were unable to avoid a 2-0 home defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge on Boxing Day.

Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler rang the changes with 17-year-old Academy forward Noah Carney handed his first start, fresh from his England Schoolboys selection, while Alfie Pavey and Ben Williamson returned in attack, and Seth Twumasi and Danny Collinge were named in the backline.

Leading scorer Aaron Cosgrave missed out due to Covid while Koby Arthur, Khale Da Costa, Sam Wood, and James Caton dropped to the bench following the 1-0 FA Trophy defeat to Bromley last time out.

Despite playing the Daggers at Crabble on Boxing Day for the second time in as many seasons, Whites became Purples for the day as they donned their away strip as part of the national #NoHomeKit campaign in aid of the homeless charity Shelter.

Twumasi was in the thick of the action within three minutes as he was beaten to a ball over the top by one-time Gillingham and Ebbsfleet man Myles Weston who dragged an angled shot past Josh Bexon but also inches wide of the far post.

Dover bounced back and Henry Woods sent a dipping volley narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box following a long throw but the hosts fell behind after 10 minutes when Will Wright’s corner sparked a scramble amid which the ball rolled agonisingly inside the post with the final touch seemingly between Danny Collinge and Daggers midfielder Matt Robinson who was credited with the goal.

Junior Morais was denied by Bexon but Dover grew in stature and Carney came close on 35 minutes when he controlled in the box and shot on the turn only to see his effort deflect past the post.

It was from the resultant corner that the visitors landed a killer blow on the counter, breaking clear from their own area before Mo Sagaf spread the ball wide to the left where Robinson outstripped the covering Williamson for pace and slotted past Bexon to double the advantage.

Jake Goodman headed narrowly over before the interval and nine minutes after the break he nodded a deep cross back into the middle for Collinge who could only nod his own effort just over Elliot Justham’s crossbar.

At the other end, Wright curled a long-range free-kick wide of the post while Bexon produced perhaps the save of the season to instinctively claw Goodman’s sliced clearance from a low Morais cross off his own goalline.

Whites were enjoying more of the ball and playing some attractive football, despite the persistent rain and heavy pitch – which had passed a 2.30pm pitch inspection. Arthur and Da Costa were introduced from the bench to liven things up and Callum Reynolds had his heart in his mouth after clipping Da Costa as he raced through, only for referee Sunny Gill to issue only a yellow card.

Arthur saw a shot blocked after some nice approach play while Da Costa took a heavy touch in the box after robbing a defender and also swung a free-kick straight at Justham as time wore on.

One final half-chance saw Pavey mis-time a header from a corner to glance off-target as Dover’s winless run in Vanarama National League extended to 20 games, 15 of them now defeats.

Whites are on the road at Woking on Tuesday (December 28) before heading to Victoria Park for the rematch with the Daggers on Sunday (January 2).